Offshore helicopter specialist CHC Group’s European business appears to be in a state of turmoil after a swathe of the senior management team abruptly departed.

Companies House filings for operating unit CHC Scotia shows the directorships of Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regional boss Mark Abbey, EMEA finance head Roy Middleton and EMEA legal chief Kate Standring were terminated on 17 September. Middleton and Standring were only appointed in May this year.

H175 LCI for CHC flying

Source: Airbus Helicopters

Their replacements are group chief executive David Balevic, senior vice-president of operations and supply chain Miguel Angel Carrasco and Kevin Spengler, vice-president of maintenance unit Heli-One.

No documentation relating to changes at sister company CHC Holding (UK), where Abbey and Middleton are also listed as directors, has been published by Companies House.

Per Andre Rykhus, who was previously in charge of Norwegian subsidiary CHC Helikopter Service, is also listed as a director of CHC Holding (UK).

Norwegian media reported on 20 September that Rykhus had left his position as country general manager, triggering the temporary grounding of the CHC Helikopter Service fleet while the appointment of a replacement was ratified with the country’s civil aviation regulator.

Flights in Norway have since resumed and CHC Group says there was no disruption to operations in the UK or to search and rescue services.

CHC Group confirms “a change of personnel in the UK and Norway” with replacements as accountable managers for licencing purposes “swiftly appointed”, but declines to provide further details. 

CHC Scotia had in 2021 launched a botched takeover of North Sea rival Babcock Mission Critical Services Offshore, plus units in Australia and Denmark.

The intervention of UK competition regulators ensured that the Babcock businesses were held as an arms-length company – Offshore Helicopter Services – while an investigation was launched.

But earlier this year the Competition and Markets Authority ruled against the takeover and ordered the divestment of Offshore Helicopter Services.

Accounts for the year to 30 April 2021, filed at Companies House on 9 September, show CHC Holding (UK) made an operating profit of £266,000 ($301,000), a significant improvement on the loss of £1.48 million in the same period a year earlier. That was achieved despite turnover falling to £27.6 million from £39.9 million.

CHC Scotia, meanwhile, made an operating loss of £11.7 million for the year to 30 April 2021, an improvement on a loss of £18.5 million the previous year. Turnover was down sharply to £81.4 million, from £121 million a year earlier.